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Waikato Herald - 2021-07-23

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Waikato in demand for conferences

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With 196 business events in the Waikato during the first quarter of this year the region placed second in the country — behind Wellington — at 29 per cent of business events held. The latest figures released by the Business Events Data Programme show the Waikato region secured 13 per cent market share of all New Zealand business events held in Q1 2021. More than 17,000 delegates were hosted in the region during this time, equating to a 13 per cent market share of the total number of delegates hosted in the country, third behind Wellington (28 per cent) and Auckland (14 per cent). Hamilton & Waikato Tourism chief executive Jason Dawson says it’s fantastic to see such a strong result for the region given the tough environment the sector over the past 18 months. “These figures show the region is in high demand with meeting and conference organisers and highlights the strength of our business events offering in Hamilton and the wider region — from our world-class venues and exceptional event hosts to our exclusive teambuilding and incentive activities along with a wide range of accommodation offerings.” Dawson said hosting major and business events are crucial in leading the economic and social recovery of the Waikato region. “Domestic business events delegates have always been an important visitor segment for the region, contributing $480 per day to the economy, double the amount of the leisure visitor. Business events are also a key seed market driving repeat visitation and further economic benefit as delegates will often return for a holiday with their friends or family.” Business development and sales manager — business events for H3, Mel Williams, says they have been working extremely hard with local partners to help boost awareness, confidence, business and events into our city and region throughout what has been a challenging time. “It’s been fantastic and extremely rewarding for us to have helped so much and to see the positive, wide-ranging ripple effects and impact that has been felt by so many. This has further energised our team to continue to proudly wave the flag for our region, and further enhance our reputation nationally,” she says. The Business Events Data Programme measures business event activity in New Zealand. It focuses on MICE events (meetings, incentives, conferences, and exhibitions) attended by at least 30 people. The programme is funded by Business Events Industry Aotearoa (BEIA), the Regional Convention Bureaux and MBIE. Hamilton & Waikato Tourism is the regional tourism organisation charged with increasing international and domestic leisure and business travellers, expenditure and stay. They lead destination management, destination marketing, business events and conventions, major event co-ordination and the Thermal Explorer Regional Events Fund for the region. The organisation is funded through a public/ private partnership and covers the heartland Waikato areas of Hamilton City, Matamatapiako, O¯ torohanga, Waikato, Waipa¯ and Waitomo Districts. Find out more at www. waikatonz.com

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